New Delhi: Former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman has rebutted the allegations of ‘Conflict of Interest’ while concluding that he is ready to “recuse” if found conflicted.
In his letter, he has alleged that the Committee of Administrators’ (CoA) handling of the Cricket Advisory Committee lacked communication.
Laxman said the CoA has been using the CAC only for selection of senior national coaches despite promising a broader role earlier.
In his official response to Ombudsman-cum-Ethics Officer, Laxman said: “On December 7, 2018, we had written to the the Committee of Administrators requesting them to clarify the scope of our role and responsibilities. To this date, there has been no reply. Since no tenure had been mentioned in the letter of intent issued in 2015, it was only reasonable to expect some communication on whether the CAC was still in existence. Unfortunately that hasn’t been forthcoming,” Laxman wrote in his affidavit filed through his lawyer.
Laxman, along with Sachin Tendulkar, replied to notices served by the Ombudsman on complaint of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) life member Sanjeev Gupta for performing dual role as mentors (Sunrisers in Laxman’s case) and CAC members.
“It will be worthwhile to note that the reason I agreed to be a member was because of the various inputs we were originally tasked with contributing towards the sustained growth of Indian cricket,” he wrote in his reply.
“The opportunity to be involved meaningfully in India’s climb towards becoming a cricketing superpower post retirement was privilege enough for me to turn down the offer of remuneration of being a part of CAC,” Laxman said in his affidavit, point 3 (c).
“The allegation of the complainant are baseless as we are in no manner selectors of either players or coaches and CAC is not a permanent body,” he wrote.
The pertinent points were 3 (d) and (e) where he criticised the CoA, insisting that the body was never really forthcoming on the scope and role of CAC.
Laxman said the roles of the CAC as told to him in 2015 included focussing on improving performances of the national team overseas, creating a pathway to track a young cricketer’s career from under-19 to India-A to the international team, ODIs and Test cricket for the country’s top players, managing workload for fast bowlers, means to improve the quality of Indian spinners, and education and life-skills for young cricketers.
He said no such input was ever sought by the BCCI.
Laxman urged the Ombudsman to view the “Conflict of Interest clause from the perspective of whether in the performance of my duties as a CAC member, I am being influenced by external factors”.
“It is my respectful submission that when I am barely required to discharge any duties as a member of the CAC, which I wasn’t even sure existed due to the lack of communication until I received this notice, questions of any conflict of interest doesn’t arise,” wrote the veteran of 134 Tests and 8781 runs.